creating brand value in the age of overloadPresentation Transcript
creating brand value
in the age of overload
Boston University, January 24 2014
thank you for having me...
the countries i have worked in
some of the brands i have worked on
at the heart of all great advertising,
lies the truth well told...
but at it’s most powerful, advertising is a cultural force:
the art of laddering a product truth to a brand ideal which shapes the desires of society
smoking marlboro is a manly habit:
marlboro brand idolized the cowboy, the ultimate deﬁnition of american masculinity
but as richard prince asked:
what is this truth, really?
ralph lauren makes american luxury lifestyle products.
his depiction of the american dream = the ultimate ideal of new world (wasp) perfection
Vanity Fair, 2007
meanwhile calvin klein + bruce weber’s 1990s depiction of male sexuality =
the continued fantasy of today
the point is, at it’s most powerful advertising has never been about just selling a
product, but co-opting, and ultimately informing a cultural ideal
yet in the last decade or so, following 9.11, the great recession and a series of
natural disasters, the traditional deﬁnition of our ideals has been questioned
this has been exacerbated by the technological revolution, which has obviously
fundamentally changed the way we can connect with each other on local/global scale
on the one hand this has created positives: collective action, mobilization, socialglobal connectivity like never seen before
and on the other hand, a not so positive onslaught of “content”
information over load is threatening to numb even the most curious of optimists
today, prophecy no longer feels like a description of the
future but, rather, a guide to the present… Our society has
reoriented itself to the present moment. Everything is live,
real-time, and always on. It’s not a mere speeding up,
however much our lifestyles and technologies have
accelerated the rate at which we attempt to do things…If
the end of the twentieth century can be characterized by
futurism, the twenty-ﬁrst can be deﬁned by presentism: a
diminishment of everything that isn’t happening now, in
favor of everything that is.
— Daniel Rushkoff, Present Shock
the result? we want to see tangible proof of ideals, leaders that are willing to do
as they say.
and brands that are willing to take responsibility for, and invest in, meaningful
social value beyond their own P+L
“Society will no longer accept companies simply creating value for themselves.”
Wendy Clark, Coca Cola
brands can no longer “idolize the dream”; they must create cultural value that is
collectively relevant and whose impact can be felt, more or less, immediately
simply put: successful brands today are those that translate their ideals
into tangible value for both them and us.
this has driven a change in marketing behaviors:
and a change in marketing objectives:
maximize your impact by creating shared value: things that
beneﬁt them + you spread faster and cheaper
burberry: timeless british fashion + access over exclusivity
= exclusive fashion accessible to all
“You know, when I was a student in London, my father wanted to buy my mother a watch from a luxury brand. This was a
really big thing in my family, because we didn’t buy a lot of luxury objects. So he sent me the money and asked me to get
it. That should have been a really beautiful experience, going in, choosing this special present ... but it wasn’t. It was
terrible. It was so intimidating, and I was made to feel so inferior, probably because of my clothes and my very strong
Yorkshire accent, and that ended up deﬁning a lot of the way I think. Why should we be exclusive? You never know, these
days a kid in a hoodie walks into a store and, for all you know, he’s a billionaire.” Christopher Bailey, 2013
coca cola: inspire optimism + teenage desire for populist social currency
= spread happiness content
“Teens rate their lives via social interactions, so we want to give them content that helps them achieve this
goal. content that enables them to receive more likes, more retweets, more shares.
It is not about more content. We are lost in a world of more more more. It is about more good content. That is
linked to strategy. Content that people will share and that will create value for them + your brand.”
Wendy Clark, 2013
the guardian: the voice of your opponent has a right to be heard + desire for objective reporting
= freedom of all information
“The Internet has challenged the newspaper model. It has taken away advertising, the notion of
authority coming from experts, and it has added personality and a sense of community. The
news can come from anywhere. Lets embrace that.” Alan Rusbridger, Guardian Editor
the key to unlocking “shared value”?
marry it with
understanding brand purpose: jim stengel
BRAND PURPOSE IS DEFINED AS WHY WE’RE HERE AS A BUSINESS OR A BRAND.
IT’S THE DIFFERENCE WE’RE GOING TO MAKE, THE IMPACT, THE FORCE THAT ATTRACTS PEOPLE.
— Jim Stengel
we exist to:
INSPIRE MOMENTS OF OPTIMISM AND HAPPINESS
FLY IN THE FACE OF ORDINARY
BUILD SELF ESTEEM IN ALL WOMEN BY
CELEBRATING NATURAL BEAUTY
CREATE THE WORLD’S BEST DRIVING EXPERIENCE
tap into a real social need/ desire: what problem are you solving?
the bigger the problem you are ﬁxing, the greater the social value, the great the brand beneﬁt
when you’re working to make things 10 percent
better, you inevitably focus on the existing tools and
assumptions, and on building on top of an existing
solution that many people have already spent a lot
of time thinking about.
But when you aim for a 10x gain, you lean instead
on bravery and creativity — the kind that, literally
and metaphorically, can put a man on the moon.
Astro Teller, Captain of moonshots, Google x
create a valuable, sharable experience:
innovation x participation = game changing action
at the heart of all great advertising lies the “truth well told” but great brands have always been those who can
ladder up product truths to bigger social ideals
while this system worked wonders up until the last decade, the changing socio-political-technological
circumstances have provoked us to fundamentally question our blind faith in the promise of the future
instead of buying the dream, we are living in a time of “presentism” - we want action, tangible value, here and
this is a demand that is being made of all institutions - government, religion, and corporate: what value are
you really creating for me/ society today? (vs. lofty rhetoric)
how does this change the nature of brand? the successful ones go from dream peddlers to action drivers:
building value beyond the P+L, championing ideals that translate into tangible social improvement
ultimately, society will no longer let companies simply create value for themselves. and brands can no longer
simply promise a dream. they have to put their money where their mouths are and invest in actively bringing
their purpose to life.
We must create work that matters. Matters far beyond
our business. Create goodness that transcends our
business. That creates good for our world.”
Wendy Clark, Coca Cola